skip to primary navigation skip to content

Improving Improvement

A toolkit for Engineering Better Care


For the Systems Novice

Engineers routinely use a systems approach to address challenging problems in complex projects. This allows them to work through the implications of each change or decision they make for the project as a whole. They consider the layout of the system, defining all the elements and interconnections, to ensure that the whole system performs as required.

For the systems novice — reading the Improvement Summary provides a simple introduction to a systems approach which, with the Quick Start Guide or Improvement Activities, offers a number of potential improvement activities.

For reference, the Improving Improvement Toolkit, developed by the University of Cambridge, develops the content of the Engineering Better Care report into a novel framework to support ongoing work in service design and improvement in health and care. It comprises four sections:

  1. Improvement Approach — An introduction to the toolkit, with reference to existing improvement approaches, to highlight new perspectives, activities and tools that could improve improvement. This section will appeal to those with experience of improvement who are interested in developing their skills further.
  2. Improvement Model — A detailed description of an improvement model based on the systems approach described in Engineering Better Care, to enable the delivery on systems that are measurably better. This section will appeal to those with experience of improvement who are not constrained in their thinking to the existing approaches.
  3. Improvement Stages — The development of the improvement model into a stage-gate process, highlighting the key questions, activities and deliverables most relevant for each of the initiate, understand, co-design, deliver and sustain stages of the improvement process.
  4. Improvement Resources — A selection of tools and resources useful in delivering a systems approach to enhance any improvement approach. This section should appeal to all readers, whatever their level of experience or skill in improvement.


We would welcome your feedback on this page:

Your name:

Your email:

Your comments:

Please leave this field blank (it's a spam trap):
Submit feedback

Privacy policy. If your feedback comments warrant follow-up communication, we will send you an email using the details you have provided. Feedback comments are anonymized and then stored on our file server

Read more about how we use your personal data. Any e-mails that are sent or received are stored on our mail server for up to 24 months.